Ms. Steinaker entered the cockpit, noticed an iPad mounted to the windshield next to the captain’s seat and saw what appeared to be a live-streaming video of Captain Graham in the lavatory, according to the complaint.
When questioned, Ms. Steinaker said, Mr. Russell admitted the video was from a functioning live-stream camera installed in the lavatory. He told Ms. Steinaker that cameras were a top-secret security measure that had been installed in the lavatories in all the airline’s 737-800 planes, the lawsuit alleges.
Mr. Russell then instructed Ms. Steinaker not to tell anyone about the recording or the camera, which he said was hidden so no one could find it. Ms. Steinaker then used her phone to take a picture of the iPad, which showed Captain Graham in the lavatory at the time, according to the complaint.
When the captain came back to the cockpit, Mr. Russell left to use the lavatory. Finding herself alone with Captain Graham, Ms. Steinaker confronted him about the cameras, but he refused to respond and blocked her view of the iPad, the lawsuit alleges.
Ms. Steinaker told the other flight attendants what had happened and showed them the picture she had taken of the iPad. When the plane landed in Phoenix, the two pilots immediately disembarked, in violation of airline protocol, according to the complaint.
In his quick departure, Captain Graham, a federal flight deck officer, left a loaded firearm unattended in the cockpit, the lawsuit alleges, in violation of Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Upon landing, Ms. Steinaker and other crew members filed a written incident report to Southwest and requested that the airline seize the iPad and save the cockpit voice recording. It is unclear whether the airline complied, Mr. Goldman said.
By Mariel Padilla